In the early 2000s I lived in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, about as far west in Canada as you can be without falling into the Pacific Ocean. Victoria is at the most southern tip of 460 km (290 mile) long Vancouver Island, about even with Whidbey Island, Washington. Business would take me to downtown Vancouver regularly, a straight-line distance of about 110 km (70 miles). I could drive to the ferry terminal, wait, have a nice 90 minute ferry ride, then drive in traffic to downtown Vancouver. Total trip time? 3 hours, if traffic was light. Cost? About CA$70 each way. But I could also fly harbour to harbour in about 30 minutes. As a fellow AvGeek, which one do you think I enjoyed more??
There are 2 regular airline services flying between Victoria’s and Vancouver’s harbours. Both harbours are Transport Canada certified airports, with designated water ’œrunways’. You can fly fixed-wing on Harbour Air’s 14 passenger DeHavilland Canada DHC-3 Turbine Otters or 18-seat DHC-6 Twin Otters. Or you can take a helicopter – Helijet flies 12-seat, twin-engine, Sikorsky S-76s or 4-seat Bell 206L LongRangers. Which way to go? Let’s have a look at the two airlines.